Indies & Idols

Indies & Idols

Hear the orchestral music of Indie-Rock icons alongside the Polish composers who inspired them.

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Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, The National’s Bryce Dessner, and American singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens were all influenced by great composers. In this program the Orchestra will perform their music alongside the source of their inspiration: Polish nationalists Karol Szymanowski, Witold Lutosławski and Krzysztof Penderecki.

A favourite of Richard Tognetti’s, Szymanowski’s surging String Quartet No.2 is a fusion of neoclassicism and Polish folk music. Lutosławski’s Overture for Strings is an almost dizzyingly multifaceted experiment, with one foot in neoclassicism and the other in the avant-garde. 

Bryce Dessner’s Réponse Lutosławski is a homage to Lutosławski, whom he credits with having illuminated the way forward in his own musical development. Jonny Greenwood cites another Polish composer, Krzysztof Penderecki, as contributing to his experimental musical language. The suite from Greenwood’s film score, There Will Be Blood, is foreboding, hopeful and beautifully evocative.

Sufjan Stevens is widely celebrated as an American indie luminary, and Suite from Run Rabbit Run is Michael Atkinson's précis of his 2009 album Enjoy Your Rabbit. Rhythmic drive, catchy melodies and mesmerising string sounds make this arrangement an energising and immersive experience.

Free pre-concert talks

Enhance your concert experience - join us for a chat about the music in this performance 45 minutes before every concert in this tour.

Sydney Opera House, with Joseph Nizeti
Sun 16 June 1.15pm


  • 25 Jun - 29 Jun, 19
  • Regular price $109.00 $20.00 Playwave Price

  • All Ages
    SYDNEY NSW 2000

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